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Expand chart
The average temperature anomaly per decade, compared to a baseline of 1951-1980. Data: NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies Surface Temperature Analysis; Graphic: Harry Stevens/Axios

Every area of the globe has warmed since instrument records began in 1880, NASA data shows. The planet isn't warming equally, however — the fastest temperature increases are taking place at the poles. The Arctic, for example, is warming at more than twice the rate of the rest of the globe, melting sea ice, glaciers and permafrost.

The bottom line: Due largely to human emissions of greenhouse gases, there is virtually no such thing as a cooler than average year on Earth anymore. (The last cooler-than-average month was 30 years ago, in December 1984).

"The globe is warming. There’s noise in each month or year but by the time you are looking at decadal means that part is small and the trends undeniable," said Gavin Schmidt, the director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

What to watch: This year is expected to be among the top five warmest years.

How to read this map: It shows how much global temperatures have varied from the 1951-1980 average for each decade since 1880. NASA uses the 1951-80 period as a temperature baseline, or reference period.

Go deeper

Updated 47 mins ago - World

North and South Korea restart hotline and pledge to improve ties

South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Pyongyang, North Korea, in 2018. Photo: Pyeongyang Press Corps/Pool/Getty Images

North and South Korea's leaders have pledged to improve relations and resume previously suspended communication channels between the two countries.

Why it matters: The resumption of the hotline on Tuesday comes despite stalled negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang on the denuclearization of North Korea, which broke down after a second summit between then-President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un ended without a deal in 2019.

Updated 2 hours ago - Sports

Teen swimmer Lydia Jacoby wins 1st U.S. women's Olympic gold in Tokyo

Lydia Jacoby of Team USA wins gold in the women's 100-meter breaststroke at the Tokyo Games. Photo: Michael Kappeler/picture alliance via Getty Images

Team USA's 17-year-old swimmer Lydia Jacoby has won the Olympic gold medal in the women's 100-meter breaststroke at the Tokyo Games, completing the race with a time of 1:04.95.

Of note: The Alaskan beat defending Olympic champion and fellow American Lilly King, who won bronze. Tatjana Shoenmaker from South Africa took home the silver medal.

4 hours ago - Health

Scoop: Pelosi’s new COVID plans

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi enters the Rose Garden on Monday. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is expected to extend proxy voting through the fall — and potentially until the end of the year — Democratic lawmakers and aides tell Axios.

Why it matters: The spread of the Delta variant has alarmed both members and staffers anxious about interacting with the unvaccinated. Pelosi’s anticipated move — continuing an emergency COVID-19 measure enacted last year so lawmakers could vote remotely — is aimed at allaying those concerns.

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